Maybe not-so-Genuine rumors…

Along with the promising Rattler (due this summer, see below), Genuine’s new site depicts a new Charcoal-and-Black Blur as seen at DealerExpo… but it features the orange-and-charcoal Blur’s 150cc engine, not the expected 200cc (an upgrade to the newer EVO 150cc would have also been a plus). The Blur 150 is still a great scooter (I’m still loving mine) and the paint scheme will likely sell better, but the 200 would have been pretty exciting. The Genuine rumor mill is running overtime at Modern Buddy, where one reader posted that a dealer told him a 40HP rotary-engine (?!) Geniune was in the works for this summer. I’ll believe that when I see it, maybe the dealer said four-TEEN and rotary-VALVE… (could it be a new Stella?) Also rumored (and counter-rumored) is a performace upgrade for the Buddy. While the Buddy 50 could use a boost, we agree with the Modern Buddy posters that feel the 125 would be a bit scary (frame-,suspension-, and brake-wise) with a bigger jug.

Vespa exhaust gasket recall?

Greek and German scooterists in the Modern Vespa forum have reported local rumors of a recall program for the Vespa GTS exhaust gasket “problem.” It’s unclear whether an official recall is underway, or if dealers in those countries are responding to concerns regarding “Technical Bulletin No 18/06” (September 18, 2006) and checking previously-serviced pipes. GTS riders have complained of gasket failure resulting in heat damage and potential dangerous situations. While Piaggio insists proper maintenance techniques will prevent failure, Modern Vespa readers have reported multiple failures, even on Vespas where the pipe had never been removed. Many modern Vespa riders have switched to third-party exhausts (apparently with problems of their own), while others are using and recommending aftermarket brass bushings.

Here’s Piaggio Technical Bulletin No 18/06, the offical document that Piaggio sent to Vespa dealers, outlining proper maintenance and replacement of the GTS exhaust gasket.

Orange helmets!

Orange Helmets

If you read Girlbike, you know that Crystal Waters posts about every pink helmet, jacket, and pair of armored chaps she can find. After I threatened to become the “Crystal Waters of Orange” in Girlbike’s comments the other day, she beat me to the punch (line) and sent 2sb a slew of helmets to match the Blur.

Thanks very much, Crystal! Unfortunately, I’m back where I started: The Shoei TZ-R is the only helmet in that bunch I would consider. Orange or not, I’m always mystified that people actually pay extra for helmets that look like Dokken album covers. Shoei helmets fit me well, but I’m not sure that the TZ-R orange will match the bike perfectly. (I’m actually more concerned that I care about my helmet matching my bike.)

Spring Hazards

Crystal’s handy guide to spring riding hazards. Chicago-wise, the potholes, especially on Lake Street, are killing me. Luckily, they’ve already started fixing them. I’ve noticed that either the roads are a lot slicker than they were in the fall, or I’m getting more comfortable pushing the Blur closer to its limits. My least favorite thing about Spring and Fall is the sun always seems to be right on the horizon during commutes. I’m thinking about moving to a city with an east side.

Tandoori Sizzler?

Hey, I think I’d post about Tandoori Sizzler Doritos even if there wasn’t a sweet junky 80s-vintage Asian-Vepsa sidehack in the TV commercial. (That’s Scootin’ Old Skool’s second most popular post.) 2sb readers of Canadia [that’s not a typo -ed], you have a mission. First bag of Tandoori Sizzlers I get in the mail nets the sender a 2strokebuzz t-shirt so new, it hasn’t even been printed yet. You can even decide what color the shirts will be.

UPDATE ScooterScoopSteve points out that there are three different versions of the commercial on (go to ‘screening room’). Exotic Otter!? Allright, people, I NEED these chips.

DOT/Slaughterhouse Meeting

There’s a Slaughterhouse planning meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) night at The Globe Pub in Chicago at 8pm. All are welcome. If you’re coming to/interested in the Chicago Scooterist Roundtable, try to come to this meeting. I met with Charles Roesner from the Chicago DOT on Monday and got a lot of insight into what they’re hoping to accomplish, and I’d like to share the good news and talk about it in a group before the meeting on May 4. As I’ve said, this is the best opportunity we’ll ever get to have our voices heard by the city, they’ve asked us for our thoughts on ecology, traffic, parking, and other scooter-related issues, let’s make the most of it.

If you’re on the email list, sorry to not contact you directly, I seem to have misplaced the list. Please spread the word.)

ABATE “Dogkiller” ride April 29

Dave “Dogkiller” White (the founder of Chicago ABATE and cofounder of ABATE of Illinois, Inc.) passed away ten years ago this month. Each year ABATE organizes a “Dogkiller” memorial ride for motorcycle awareness, this year’s ride is April 29. (details). ABATE member Dan Kay tells us he suspects the ride is starting at Alderman “Billy” Banks office in order to present Banks with the “Dogkiller” Award–the Chicago chapter’s highest honor–for his motorcycle advocacy at City Hall, including his support of Motorcycle Awareness Month (May). Banks is Galewood’s alderman, so we should send a contingent of scooterists along to show support for ABATE and Ald. Banks, both important allies.